Reading material for those who love the camping life

By: Bjarne Eikefjord
Motorhome and Caravan magazine, No. 1. February 2014

Scent of heat in Belgrade: Kalemegdan

Can you smell the heat? The question arises a sparkling hot summer during a visit to Kalemegdan. Fortress Park in today's Belgrade, strategically located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube meet, is currently characterized by peace and quiet, a stone's throw away from the end of the main street in Belgrade, Knez Mihailova. While the weight of history enraptures the visitors of the past remained.

With 30 degrees in the shade and sun from a cloudless sky, it will be logged fragrances not often experience in Norway. Some grass, some leaves, some conifers, some asphalt, little flowers, little grasshoppers, and some parafyme of the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people who use a great Sunday to stroll in peace and quiet on the kilometer-long walkways in what appears as one of Europe's great monumental edifice. The fortress Kalemegdan, strategically located where the rivers Sava and Danube meet and go together to a mighty river which for thousands of years has been one of the main traffic routes between the East and Europe. Yes, heat can be smelled, it "knows" all who have experienced Kalemegdan a hot and dry summer in the company of a few thousand other people who also are seeking peace and tranquility from the big city noise and traffic.

popular park

Kalemegdan is also a vast park, landscaped in 1880-years of Belgrade's first urban planner Emilijan Josimovic commissioned by Prince Mihailo Obrenovic. The park begins where Belgrade's shopping street Knez Mihailova, ends. Around one hundred meters further is the first fortress walls, built, rebuilt and bodywork through a couple of millennia. On walkways under shadow trees flirting youngsters in the summer evenings. Elsewhere open ports roads to the fortress interior with kilometer long corridors and catacombs which only marginally explored and opened to the public. On top of the main walls opens up breathtaking views of the rivers Sava and Danube and around the country. There, on the plain between Kalemegdan and rivers, are also walls, gates and building remains after the original Belgrade, or Singidunum as the city was called when the Romans came and camped on the plain between the Sava and Danube sometime between 6 and year 11 in our era.

Roman military camp

However, the Celts were out even earlier. Already in the third century BC, the Celtic Scordisci tribe had taken up residence. Together with the Illyrians and the Thracians, they were responsible for a lively trade between East and West. Under the Roman emperor Hadrian, Singidunum gained some autonomy as a free Roman colony, which after the division of the Roman Empire in 395 ended up in the Eastern Roman Empire and was then ruled from Constantinople. During the migration period, the meeting place between the Sava and Danube waterways was the natural junction between large ethnic groups, until the Hun Attilla and his "barbarians" came and cleared the table in 441. According to legend, Attilla is buried where the Sava and Danube meet.

Byzantines come - Serbs take over

The next 6 centuries was the Byzantines who ruled the land. The citadel was constantly reinforced to withstand the attack which came from many nations. Traces hundred years developments can be found in various places in the current fortress complex, making it a walk through history architecture and art of war. The name Belgrade dolls incidentally the first time into the 9. century in a letter from Pope John the 8. a Bulgarian prince. Only after an interregnum with Bulgarian and Hungarian control, were Belgrade at 11. century transferred to the new statehood Serbia as a wedding gift from King Bela 1 of Hungary to the Serbian princess Jelena.

Fredrik Barbaraossa and the Holy Roman Empire korstoghær also visited Belgrade on business during the Third Crusade in 1189, before Belgrade in 1404, after the Battle of Ankara, for the first time became the capital of the new Serbian government. It meant a great construction period with new, huge fortifications protected as well as upper lower city on the river plateau. Within the outer festnignsmurene was built a castle. War harbor at Savas widths were greatly expanded, and Belgrade evolved into an expansive medieval

Turks coming - Austrians take over

The Serbs did not be long in peace before the Turks joined the court and wanted to take over Belgrade Fortress and all. It succeeds the in 1521, and the next two centuries was the Turks masters both in Belgrade and in what is today Bosnia. Then came the Austrians, and it was they who built the Kalemegdan to the vast fortifications today we contemplate and admire. The Turks did some re-visits, as did the Janissaries but from 1867 have Belgrade and Kalemegdan been under Serbian control. Gradually decreased fortress military importance, before the 1880's was laid out like parks open to the public.

steeped in history

Thus, it is steeped in history over the mighty Kalemegdan, whose 125 meters above sea level, stands far above most other things on the ... ..sletten. Archaeological findings indicate that the ridge has been inhabited since Neolithic times. The fort had great strategic importance for more than two thousand years. Roughly 115 battles have been fought and the city with the fortress for the same period has been destroyed and rebuilt about 40 times. In other words, the warlike history which has left its mark on buildings and architecture.

A peaceful spot

Today's Kalemegdan is However refuge in the Balkans. A tourist magnet that should be a natural destination for all who come to Serbia and Belgrade, whether by plane, campers or in other ways. The park provides a vivid introduction to medieval urban society was organized and functioned. The fortress as the patron, the city in safety below the fort's cannons and high walls. Kalemegdan is the most important historical and cultural place in the Serbian capital. The paths leading to the Natural History Museum to the Observatory, military museums, art galleries and churches that Ruzica and St.Petka. Many places have modern artists turned up their easels and practicing his craft for public interest.

The venue for music and theater festivals

Every year various music and theater festivals in historic surroundings. Not far away is the zoo. A number smårestauranter gives guests a snack, usually with some good drink source of extra. Towards evening comes floodlight, revealing a number of statues and memorial, where the largest and most important is a bronze woman - the monument and thanks to France for friendship and assistance during WWI. Right outside the fortress walls located Victory Monument, erected to commemorate the victory of 1. World War II and one of the main landmarks in today's Belgrade. Those who look closely, you will find also the Roman Well, a mythical place with many legends.

Kalemegdan is the place where young lovers couples find each other - and at the same time a place where retirees and chess players use to recreation and enjoyment. During the walk along the paths and small roads with historical inscriptions on the walls can bring out the flavor of times gone by - and the perception of what actually happened at this historic site. And above all it can a new understanding of what the smell of heating means.

It all a few minutes walk from the main street in Belgrade, Knez Mihailova.

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